If it's in Mar Vista, it's on Mar Vista Mom.

Tag: SolarCity

Mar Vista’s Latest Solar Home: Mine!

Mar Vista’s Latest Solar Home: Mine!

Phase Two of my home’s solar conversion is complete! There are enough black glass panels on my roof now to qualify it as an electrical generator. You can read about phase one here. Here’s my roof before:  Here’s what it looked like yesterday: and here it […]

GoSolar Mar Vista Update: Taking It Personally

GoSolar Mar Vista Update: Taking It Personally

Mar Vista Mom is going Solar! I am so excited, in a very geeky, green way. I have lived in sunny climates most of my life and have always wanted to take advantage of the power of the sun, but there was always the big […]

Mar Vista GoSolar Wrap-Up

Mar Vista GoSolar Wrap-Up

GoSolar eventIt was a capacity crowd that showed up Saturday evening to hear Open Mar Vista‘s John Ayers and James Brennan introduce their vision for clean energy in Mar Vista, John Ayers and James Brennan of Open Mar Vistaand to introduce SolarCity, the contractors who are running the program and would install the solar panels here.

Aleida Montejo and Kevin O’Donnell, of ThreadCollaborative, were also on hand to present a fantastic slide show on solar energy. It was very enlightening and exciting! Bill Rosendahl, our city councilman, and Kate Anderson, candidate for State Assembly from the 23rd District also came out to hear the presentations.Demetrios Mavromachlis, Kate Anderson, Kevin O'Donnell, Aleida Montejo, James Brennan and John Ayers(R to L: Demetrios Mavromichalis, Kate Anderson, Kevin O’Donnell, Aleida Montejo, James Brennan and John Ayers.)

And the event was held in 12024 Venice Blvd, a new building with retail space below, and live-work space above. (I personally have my fingers crossed for some new retail options on the Blvd. It’s so nice to walk and shop! But I digress…)

Solar panels have been around for a while, but the big news these days is the Lease. Leasing opens solar up to many more people than before because it means no money down, making it a much more attractive proposition.

The Open Mar Vista GoSolar program is cool because it takes it one step further and offers a group discount on the purchase and/or the lease for those of us neighborhood early-adopters. But you must sign up by October 25th, 2009 to take advantage of the group deal. Sign up at Open Mar Vista for a free consultation.

The audience had lots of questions, and everyone needs to evaluate it for themselves to see if it makes sense. Here are some of the top concerns I gathered people have, in no particular order:

• The lease means you’re locking in a rate for 20 years — seems like a big commitment to some. But we do have mortgages, most of us, and that’s a 30-year commitment, after all. Plus, what if electric rates don’t go up over the course of 20 years and we’re actually paying MORE through the lease? Oh, wait, that’s not reality-based. Probably a pretty good deal to lock in the rate now. In addition, as DWP customers, our lease rate stays exactly the same for the 20 years; for other providers, like SoCal Edison, there’s a 3.9% increase per year. Nice negotiating, DWP!

• In the course of the 20-year lease, what if I need to re-roof my house? (SolarCity says they work with the roofers to lift the panels up while the new roof goes on and put it back when they’re done, but that there will be a labor charge.) Side benefit: The panels protect your roof from the harsh effects of the sun. Nice.

• Would we still be able to take advantage of the tax savings and state rebates of the solar panels if we do the lease? (I’m not totally clear on this, so double check with them, but what I understood was we would get the tax savings, but not the rebates; that in fact the rebates go to the financing entity that makes the lease possible at all — in this case, US Bank.)

• How much maintenance will it take? We were told we’ll have to clean off the soot and smog periodically, but I’m not sure how I would do that — I’d have to climb up on my roof? Sounds out of my realm. I’d have to hire someone, I guess? SolarCity will do maintenance on the panels, in terms fixing them if they ever break, but cleaning is up to the homeowner.

So it’s all a question of whether buying or leasing would work best for you, and whether your house has the right profile for a solar system. Sign up now and find out, Mar Vista! I just scheduled my appointment and I’ll know soon how much money I can save by going solar, not to mention how much I’ll be helping the planet.

Reminder: GoSolar Event This Saturday 7/25

Reminder: GoSolar Event This Saturday 7/25

Be sure to come by on Saturday at 6pm if you have any questions about this solar energy project. A representative from SolarCity will be on hand to answer questions about the installation and leasing vs. buying options, and the Open Mar Vista guys (John […]

Mar Vista’s Going Solar with Open Mar Vista and SolarCity!

Mar Vista’s Going Solar with Open Mar Vista and SolarCity!

Ever think about installing solar panels on your roof? This being sunny Southern California, I can’t imagine it hasn’t crossed all of our minds on multiple occasions. But there’s a lot to consider, and the hefty price tag has always been a stumbling block for […]